What if your life changed in the blink of an eye? One minute, you’re studying hard and counting down the days until you finish your Speech Pathology degree, and the next you’re on a roadtrip with your uni friend – about to start a new job and a new adventure in a regional city.
That’s how Zia’s story began – one of our incredible, passionate Speech Pathologists here at SpeechEase Speech Therapy in Townsville. After studying hard at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane, Zia made the brave move to a regional city for her new graduate role. Whether you’re a university student, a new graduate, or an experienced Speech Pathologist, we think you’ll find Zia’s story incredibly inspiring!
Keep on reading to discover why Zia made the move, what her favourite parts of Townsville are, and where she’s planning to take her Speech Pathology career.
Regional Relocation Diaries – Zia, Speech Pathologist
If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Zia in our Townsville clinic, you should know she’s an energetic and friendly person and an incredible Speech Pathologist!
Working in the healthcare industry always appealed to Zia, in part because she wanted to follow her parent’s footsteps, but mainly because of her desire to help others. In her final year of High School, after discussions with her parents that brought back the memory of her own experience seeing a Speech Pathologist, Zia decided to explore the world of Speech Pathology. We are so glad she did!
Since then, Zia has gone on to graduate with a degree in Speech Pathology and at the beginning of 2022, took a chance and moved from Brisbane to Townsville.
When she’s not working, Zia loves to spend time with her loved ones. Family is one of Zia’s strongest values and she does what she can to stay in touch with her immediate family in Brisbane, and her extended family in the Philippines.
The Move: From Brisbane to Townsville
Packing up your life and moving to a new city, away from family, friends, and everything you’ve come to know is a daunting experience for anyone. But, for Zia, this was a great opportunity to explore Australia and kickstart her Speech Pathology career as a new graduate.
During her time as an ACU student, Zia actually got to meet and befriend one of our other incredible Speech Pathologists, Kelsey! Kelsey made the move to Mackay with us in January 2021, and after discovering there was an opportunity for her to have a regional adventure of her own, Zia knew she had to give it a go.
To make the adventure even sweeter, one of her close university friends also secured a regional Speech Pathology role, so they were able to make the move together! There’s nothing better than having a good friend by your side to support you during a big life change like this, and we’re so happy for Zia that it all fell into place.
Zia’s Favourite Things About Living and Working in Townsville
Now that Zia has had some time to settle into her new life in Townsville, she’s found a few different things that have made the experience oh-so wonderful. Here are some of Zia’s top picks and places to visit if you ever make your way to sunny Townsville.
The Townsville Markets
On the weekends, one of Zia’s favourite activities is heading down to the local farmers market for fresh produce and a spot of retail therapy. There are so many yummy new foods to try and friendly conversations to have with Townsville locals running the stalls. After an early morning gym session or hike, there’s nothing better than going for a casual stroll to get some essentials (and treats!) for the week ahead.
Castle Hill – The Goat Track Hike
There are so many great hiking trails and scenic walks to enjoy around Townsville! One of Zia’s favourite spots is The Goat Track hiking trail that can be found on your way up Castle Hill. This trail will take you to the summit of Castle Hill and takes about 1hr to complete. No matter what time of day you tackle The Goat Track, you’ll be sure to catch some jaw-dropping views of the ocean out to Magnetic Island and the regional city below.
Ross River Parkway
Another iconic destination, the Ross River parkway is one of Zia’s go-to locations for a picnic and leisurely walk after a big week in the clinic. There is a restaurant nearby where you can grab a delicious meal, and coffee shops for that afternoon pick-me-up.
Looking for some foodie recommendations for Townsville? You’re in luck! Quarterdeck is one of Zia’s top picks, located on the marina with incredible views and even better seafood. The cocktails are a crowd pleaser as well!
For the perfect weekend getaway, look no further than Magnetic Island! Zia joined us on our Tropical Townsville Tour featuring the Diary of a New Grad Speechie podcast hosts, and it’s safe to say another day trip is already on the cards. From hiking and wallaby feeding to delicious meals, cocktails, and even paddleboarding, there’s so much you can do on Magnetic Island.
Zia’s Career Goals
While our Zia’s Speech Pathology career sure has started with a bang, we know there’s a whole lot more ahead for this wonderful clinician. When we asked Zia to share a bit about her vision for her speechie future, her goals revolved around increasing her knowledge within the field generally, and finding a way to support people who aren’t able to access the NDIS to subsidise services.
We love Zia’s heart for the profession and her clients, and we can’t wait to see where her career takes her.
Are you keen to set out on your own regional adventure? Learn more about SpeechEase’s Regional Relocation program here – an exciting opportunity for new grads and experienced Speech Pathologists based in Australia.